Essential Oils May Ease Sadness
Aromatherapy, Sadness & Despair
The causes of sadness vary. They may arise due to a chemical or hormonal imbalance in the body, which can cause the mental state described as depression. It may also manifest following significant and difficult personal experiences characterized by loss or stress. But we are finding that essential oils may help relieve the symptoms of sadness, despair and self-doubt.
According to WebMD, “when sadness deepens into more extreme feelings like apathy, a loss of self-worth, feelings of disempowerment and lack of hope. Complications occur when these feelings last for prolonged periods of time.”
A state of sadness or anxiousness is often accompanied by physical distress and other emotional stressors in the form of:
- Low energy up to and including fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of interest and enjoyment in daily activities (especially previous favorites)
- Spending most of the day in a down mood, especially in the morning
- Feelings of stagnation
- Impaired judgement and indecisiveness
- Physical aches and pains
Aromatherapy supports other therapies to alleviate the mental and physical symptoms associated with sadness and blue moods. The close relationship between the sense of smell and the areas of the brain, which control memory, breathing, and blood pressure, make it a fast acting method for combating these symptoms.
Essential oils can also “affect a number of biological factors, including heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function,” that relate to feelings of despair, according to a study conducted in Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany.
Please note that aromatherapy is not a cure for feelings of sadness/despair and that you should always follow your doctor’s advice as to the best treatment options for you. However, aromatherapy is a great complimentary to western medicine,an all natural remedy that can uplift your mood anytime you use it.
According to Medical News Today, “essential oils may also help reduce the symptoms of anxious feelings, which often occur alongside deeper issues.” Researchers estimate that around 43 percent of people with anxious feelings and stress use some form of alternative therapy to help manage symptoms
As with many alternative therapies, aromatherapy works best with consistent and appropriate application.
Essential Oils to support low moods and sadness
Essential oils can be “as an effective therapeutic option for the relief of sad symptoms in a wide variety of subjects,” according to the National Institutes of Health Systematic Review on The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms.
So here’s how essential oils actually work – the aromatic molecules present naturally in essential oils can cross the blood/brain barrier and have a direct impact on areas of the brain which control feelings of sadness, anxiousness and stress.
When addressing these symptoms, essential oils may be used alone or as part of a synergistic blend to affect several symptoms at the same time. The essential oils selected need to meet four criteria, let’s take a look:
Selected oils should:
- Elevate mood
- Improve energy levels
- Calm and soothe the nervous system
- Improve mental clarity
Essential oils recommended include:
Basil–improves mental focus and relieves physical aches
Bergamot–alleviates feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress
Citrus oils–(orange, lemon or grapefruit)–uplifting and energizing
Clary sage–relieves fatigue and stress
Frankincense–improves concentration and mental clarity
Geranium–calming and uplifting
Lavender–balancing, calming and may help relieve insomnia
Neroli–improves mood; alleviates insomnia and stress
Petitgrain–energizing and uplifting
Rose–alleviates sadness and stress
Sandalwood–calming; relieves stress and sadness
Vetiver–has a grounding, calming and stabilizing effect on the psyche
Ylang-ylang–relieves anxious feelings, sadness and stress
A variety of recipes incorporating these oils may be discovered by consulting with an aromatherapist or searching online and in reference books on the topics of essential oils and aromatherapy. As you seek out blends or create your own, keep the properties of the desired oils as well as their scents in mind. The ratio of oils blended together as well as the dominance of their scent will determine the smell of the final product.
Click HERE to go to an article about doTerra’s Chemistry Wheel, a tool designed to help individuals better understand the chemistry behind essential oils. In understanding the basic chemistry of each oil, you can more fully understand when and how to use the oils to achieve your desired benefit.
Investigate this article by doTerra: Creating your own Essential Oil Blends. Included in the article is a Blending Worksheet and Labels!
Try to blend complementary oils together in complementary ratios. For example, rose, sandalwood, and vetiver would blend well.
Let’s look at a few essential oils in detail
This is easily one of the most popular essential oils of all time. You can immediately recognize the aroma and it instantly calms you down. Using lavender for calming properties can be dated back to the ancient Romans. Research in recent years has suggested strongly that lavender may help with the symptoms of sadness and help alleviate symptoms of anxiousness and stress as well.
A 2012 study evaluated if aromatherapy helps to improve anxiousness and/or sadness in high-risk postpartum woman. By following a 4-week protocol of diffusing lavender in the home, postnatal low feelings in the participating women was significantly reduced and the study concluded with “positive findings with minimal risk for the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy in both of these conditions.”
Another study was conducted on those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is directly linked to sadness. Lavender oil demonstrated incredibly promising results and when used on a daily basis helped decrease these symptoms by 32.7% and also helped to regulate sleep and improve mood in 47 participating patients with PTSD.
- Add to bath water to soak away stress.
- Apply to back of neck or bottom of feet.
Sandalwood essential oil has a warm, woody, calming aroma. It will remind you of incense and meditation. Sandalwood is perfect for focus and helps to increase mental clarity.
The scent of this oil has an amazing powerful effect on the brain’s limbic system which enables the body to regain more emotional balance.
This oil also helps you get to sleep and alleviate blue moods.
- Apply to the neck at bedtime for a restful sleep, or use during meditation.
Grapefruit is quite excellent at invigorating the senses and uplifting our moods and outlook. This in turn helps to relieve mental exhaustion and fatigue. The intense citrus scent helps to elevate low moods and energize body, mind and spirit. Interestingly, grapefruit essential oil had been proven to normalize hormone levels and improve immune function.
A 1995 study concluded that treatment with the fragrance of citrus oils can be “more effective than antidepressants.”
- Rub underneath your nose to sharpen focus and improve concentration.
Wild Orange essential oil is very uplifting and energizing, like it’s cousin the grapefruit. In fact a study conducted at the Japan based Mei University, reported that when given orange oil, patients were able to, “markedly reduce the amount of prescribed medications they took,” and that orange oil also helped to normalize endocrine levels and stabilize immunity.
In another study, orange oil was found to lower heart rate and decrease cortisol levels lowering stress and anxious feelings. Orange essential oil has many compounds that are known to support the body and help alleviate sad symptoms. It’s energizing scent helps to create feeling of happiness and elevate moods.
- Energize the mind and body by placing two drops each of Wild Orange, Peppermint, and Frankincense in the palm of your hand. Rub palms together and inhale deeply. during high stress levels.
How would I use essential oils?
- You may purchase pre-blended massage oils, creams, and lotions.
- You may also create your own blends for use in a diffuser or to add directly to a bath. Never use essential oils directly on the skin. Always mix them with a carrier oil or shake well when suspended in water.
- You may also choose to place a few drops of essential oil in a pot of warm water; the oil will evaporate permeating the air with its scent as the water cools.
3 diffuser recipes
- 3 drops Vetiver
- 3 drops Lavender
- 3 drops Sandalwood
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 3 drops Patchouli
- 2 drops White Fir
- 2 drops Lavender
- 5 drops Frankincense
- 5 drops Peppermint
- 5 drops Wild Orange
- 5 drops Lemon
Always treat essential oils with care. Be aware of any allergies or potential drug interactions. As with all therapies to treat medical conditions, seek the input of a doctor or professional to gain the maximum benefits of this form of treatment.
Here is a great article that has good information, several videos and recipes for calming anxious feelings
Our mental health directly relates to overall health and includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we make decisions, how we interact with others and how we respond to events that happen in life. Try using essential oils to create a sense of calmness and wellbeing.
In Health & Wellness,